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Tucson wins first round of vaccine mandate battle

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 7:10 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson has won the first round in its attempt to keep its vaccine mandate intact.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge, Katherine Cooper, ruled the state violated its own laws when it passed a series of anti-mask and vaccine laws at the end of the past legislative session.

A copy of her ruling is here.

The lawmakers attached the COVID bills to budget bills thus violating the state law against multiple subjects in a single piece of legislation.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed the challenge against the Tucson vaccine mandate on Sept. 7, calling it illegal and gave the city 30 days to rescind it or risk losing $130 mil in state shared revenues.

That’s moot for the time being.

“We will appeal this ruling. It’s unfortunate that left-wing groups want to undermine the legislative process and indoctrinate our children with critical race theory and force vaccines on those who don’t want them. I will continue to stand for the rule of law and the people of Arizona,” Brnovich said in a statement.

On Aug. 13, the Mayor and Council passed a vaccine mandate which required a vaccine as a condition of employment. That has been changed to a five day suspension without pay.

“Me expectation is that we would continue to pause the discipline and apply the workplace restriction until this is completely resolved in court,” said Ward 6 Councilmember Steve Kozachik. “We’ll likely keep our discipline on hold until the litigation plays itself out.”

The city council will meet behind closed doors at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Sept. 28 to determine its next steps.

“Mark Brnovich is not going to fold his tent and we’re certainly not going to either,” Kozachik said. “While the litigation is playing itself out, we’re going to keep our options open.”

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